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Higher malpractice insurance mean more likely to get sued?

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  • Higher malpractice insurance mean more likely to get sued?

    My current employer rejected my request when I asked for my malpractice insurance to be raised from 500K/1mill to 1 mill/3 mill as the employer stated that puts me at a higher risk of getting sued. Is this a valid argument?  I'm located in the state of Texas and am in a low liability specialty.

  • #2
    There are a few aspects to this. First, there is no way for a potential plaintiff/lawyer to know what your malpractice limits are since those are not public records. So, one can't sue you simply because you have higher limits. Once a suit (or intent to sue) has been filed, they can request for you to disclose your coverage. Does that make make it a sweeter deal for them to go after you? Or, if it is a suit involving multiple doctors, do you have a target on your back? Yes and no. Depends on the merit of the case. On the one hand, it sure is tempting to go after you. On the other, your malpractice insurance company makes it harder for the plaintiff lawyers to get to you. They are more willing to fight harder on your behalf because they stand to lose more money by just settling- since settlement amounts are often based on amount of coverage. So, if it is a frivolous lawsuit and there is a good chance of you winning it, they will fight it to the end- which is a good thing for you.

    My two cents, TX has low liability minimums- you already have more than that. If you are in a low liability field, spend your money elsewhere. That said, you have to do whatever lets you sleep better. There was a recent thread on this subject where WCI had a different opinion and would likely recommend $1/3M. Good luck!

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    • #3
      that reasoning makes no sense.

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      • #4
        I think you want to have what others in your specific field in your area carry.  Again there are lots of threads about how the plaintiff attorney is not really after your house.  They will generally take your limit for a settlement even if a jury awards a big verdict.  Malpractice insurers try to frighten people by talking about the huge verdict down the road.  I am in OB and I carry what others carry.

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        • #5
          There is some misinformation in this thread. Malpractice lawyers absolutely know what insurance you have and what the caps are for various insurances.

          I actually asked a fairly prominent malpractice lawyer if getting catastrophic payout insurance just put a bigger target on your back. His response was that every time he's trying a case and he sees that the doctor has supplemental insurance for catastrophic payouts he gets excited.

          It's counter-intuitive, but it is possible to be over-insured.

          This is the whole justification behind going bare in Florida. If you only have 250k of seizable assets, and taking you to court costs 250k it doesn't make much business sense to sue you.

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          • #6




            There is some misinformation in this thread. Malpractice lawyers absolutely know what insurance you have and what the caps are for various insurances.

            I actually asked a fairly prominent malpractice lawyer if getting catastrophic payout insurance just put a bigger target on your back. His response was that every time he’s trying a case and he sees that the doctor has supplemental insurance for catastrophic payouts he gets excited.

            It’s counter-intuitive, but it is possible to be over-insured.

            This is the whole justification behind going bare in Florida. If you only have 250k of seizable assets, and taking you to court costs 250k it doesn’t make much business sense to sue you.
            Click to expand...


            They will not know that until after something has already been initiated, so it will not make you a bigger target just having it. After that, its the merits of the case. If you're in a place with tort reform, the limits make it very hard to go after anything just because.

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            • #7
              Depends what your definition of initiated is. They certainly know before a jury reaches its final decision and before they set foot in court. It changes their willingness to settle or whether they think the case is worth bringing to court at all.

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              • #8




                Depends what your definition of initiated is. They certainly know before a jury reaches its final decision and before they set foot in court. It changes their willingness to settle or whether they think the case is worth bringing to court at all.
                Click to expand...


                Exactly that, lawyers cant just randomly check in on your insured status. Someone has to make a complaint first. Agree that you are simply the vehicle being used to access the insurers pockets, but we seem to have a strange system.

                Would be interesting to see what the rates of malpractice cases are in florida vs. the most friendly to plaintiffs malpractice state.

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                • #9




                  that reasoning makes no sense.
                  Click to expand...


                  Which part? We seem to concur on the bit about individual coverage not being public knowledge- not until a complaint has been filed.

                  The second part about the difference in how your coverage (at least slightly) impacts how your insurance carrier treats your case (depending obviously on multiple other factors) actually comes from industry itself. I recently researched this subject and asked my insurance agent this question. He reached out to his contacts within the carriers and this is the answer he got.

                   

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                  • #10
                    the ops target question only. everyone should strive to have a solid company behind them. those reputations are also good to have on your side.

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